ROSEBURG, Oregon – For the last five decades the UCC Bookstore has been a cornerstone of the Umpqua Community College (UCC) experience. Nearly every student has passed through its doors. In those five decades, little has changed. But this coming Fall term, much of that will change. The campus store is being remodeled to feature new flooring, new ceiling, a new floor plan, a new purchasing area, and new energy-efficient lighting. Additionally, a new Rogue Community Credit Union branch will be located in what was formerly the bookstore’s cooler section.
I put together a project plan with Jess Miller (UCC’s Director of Facilities and Security) for the summer. His input and knowledge of project timing was incredibly valuable,” Micque Shoemaker, UCC’s Bookstore Manager, said. “We’ve had to choose flooring and have the ceiling redone. The bookstore employees helped pick out the new counters for the new food services, coffee cart, and the new register. We’re looking at the first week of September to have everything in place.”
The changes to UCC’s campus store will go beyond cosmetic as it will also be the source of the campus’ food services. This transition comes after extensive research and surveying both locally and among Oregon’s 16 other community colleges.
A copy of the Bookstore’s blueprints as part of UCC’s phase 3-A building projects, dated 1970. Provided by UCC Facilities.
Of these colleges, 11 outsource their food service to third parties, four have retained in-house services in some form – including transitioning their bookstore to provide food services – and Tillamook Bay Community College provides no services.
Food services have been a challenge for all community colleges, Chief Financial Officer Natalya Brown aid. “They need to run like a business and can’t operate at a large deficit.
These challenges don’t exclude UCC as efforts to outsource to third-party services proved unsuccessful a few years ago.
I’m meeting with the Director of the Blue Zones Project of Umpqua Valley to talk about community contacts that are licensed to sell food wholesale; local restaurants, any other kind of food vendor,” Shoemaker said. “We have a couple of other vendors I’ve reached out to, and we already have a partnership with a number of local vendors. Things are going to change as we figure out how we’re doing it, but we’ll be ready to go by Sept. 23.
Shoemaker has been in the process of offering a wider selection of food options through the last year, with the introduction of foods catering to those with dietary restrictions. She is also looking to establish more meal options that are Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible.
The final major change that’s coming to the store is its name. As the store’s renovations take place and selections expand, the former bookstore needs a new name. The store has requested community input on what the store will be called. A survey has been created with some pre-selected ideas. The survey closes on Friday, August 9.
We’ve been more than a bookstore for years now,” Shoemaker said. “We’ve talked about changing the name before, but now we really have a reason to.
The campus store’s renovation isn’t the only change coming to UCC as Rogue Credit Union launches its second collegiate branch. See related story: College Welcomes Credit Union to Campus
About Umpqua Community College
Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.